BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — When Tatyana Hargrove allegedly rubbed a hamburger bun on the floor and spit on the burger before it was served to a police officer, another employee of the restaurant where she worked witnessed her actions, according to reports.
The other employee laughed about the incident, the reports say. He then went back to work without informing management or stopping the burger from being served.
It wasn’t until the employee who laughed later told a third employee about what had happened that management at the west Bakersfield McDonald’s was notified, the reports say.
By that time, the officer had eaten the burger, according to the reports.
Hargrove, 21, is charged with a felony of mingling harmful substances with food or drink and a misdemeanor battery charge. She’s set to be formally arraigned Wednesday.
When questioned by police, the other employee said he thought Hargrove had switched the dirty hamburger bun for a clean one, according to reports obtained by KGET. And he said he was unsure whether she actually spit on the burger or was only making noise as if she was going to spit.
He denied laughing about the incident, the reports say, but a few minutes later began crying and apologized.
The employee told investigators Hargrove said, “Black lives matter, (expletive) the police,” when she saw the uniformed officer pull up to the drive-thru.
Surveillance video inside the McDonald’s shows Hargrove contaminating the burger and the other employee laughing, according to the reports.
Hargrove denied spitting on the burger and claimed she accidentally dropped the bun, according to the reports. When asked why she kept making the burger with the dropped bun, Hargrove referenced the “five-second rule.”
In 2018, Hargrove claimed she was the victim of police brutality when she was arrested after a struggle with Bakersfield police.
Officers responding to a report of a man armed with a machete stopped and questioned Hargrove, mistaking her for a man. She resisted, police said, and a police dog was used to subdue her.
She was arrested on charges of resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer and interfering with a police dog. The District Attorney’s office later decided not to prosecute her.
Hargrove sued in federal court, claiming a civil rights violation.
That suit went to jury trial, and on Oct. 18 the jury ruled in favor of the City of Bakersfield.